curious thoughts and remembrances

Sunday, November 30, 2003


Home. Alone. Nicole's in Wisconsin. I've been in front of a computer all day, working on a couple of different projects. And I'm not done yet. Something comes loose in my brain if I can't have at least one good conversation with a friend in a day. I am now resorting to listening to Weezer's first album and singing along to make myself feel better. Boohoo...


This one's for me more than for you: that birthday party I went to at Taco Land when I was 10 was for my parents' friend Guy, not Don. My bad. Thanks to my Dad for setting me straight.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Taco Land 

It was a good Thanksgiving.

I grew up in San Antonio, in Monte Vista historic district to be exact. Our house is probably about 90 years old. It's big, 2 stories, a porch, and upstairs porch, 3 bedrooms. And it's old, did I mention that? Coming back here is always a trip. It really takes me back. One of the things about this house that stands out to me is the water. Granted, San Antonio water, in general, is hard. But the water at my house, maybe it's the old pipes, is really hard. It always makes my face feel like it's going to crack into many small pieces after I take a shower. This fact tormented me as a teen with a bad complexion. It was a constant cycle of oily skin, dry skin, oily skin dry skin. I'm not bitter.

One of my favorite things to do when I come home is play my dad's acoustic guitar. It's a Gibson from the 60's. It's not a great guitar, but something about playing it is always inspiring. It makes me want to sing from my soul. It brings out all the songs I've written that I don't like to play for other people. The ones that I can't help but feel like I'm down in it the whole time I'm singing. I love that feeling.

Today my brother took apart his Sega Dreamcast, gutted in, and re-housed it in a cardboard shoebox. He's a great guy. He's 16. His name is Fred.

Tonight I went to Taco Land, a local music club, for a Johnny Cash tribute night. I had been under the impression that I'd never been to Taco Land. When we got there, I instantly remembered that when I was 10 or so I went there with my parents for my neighbor Don's birthday party. That was back when my parents still hung out with a crowd that was, for lack of thought of a better word, counter-culture or "hippie". I remember playing with my friends on the deck of Taco Land. Running around or something. I remember that it was fun and that all of our parents were probably drunk.

Speaking of drunk, I drank a little tonight. I always feel funny drinking in San Antonio. I'm accustomed to sobriety in this city.

This house is cold. It is, as I said, big, and old, and therefore not well-insulated and difficult to control temperature-wise. There's no central heating or air. Right now the only thing providing heat to the downstairs, beside my young body and the lamps, is a gas heater on the wall in here. It's not doing a great job. Gas heaters in bedrooms are funny. If you leave them on all night with the doors closed, you wake up with a killer buzz. I wonder if I would have been smarter if I'd grown up without a gas heater in my room. I never want to get out of bed in the morning when I'm in this house in the winter or fall. It's too cold. Alternatively, in the summer, I want to get out of bed as soon as possible, and take a shower. Except then my skin gets really dry.

I played "Halo" on the x-box with my brother today for about half an hour. He kicked my ass.

I think my parents are going to sell this house within the next five years. I'm not sure how I feel about that. This house is where I grew up, my whole life prior to college, except for a small apartment when I was four when my parents separated for about a year. I've always had a dream (I'm not sure how important it actually is) that maybe I'd be rich someday before my parents had to sell the house, and I would buy it, and fix it up, even though I never want to live in San Antonio again. But, they need to move. This house is just plain uncomfortable to live in. The water's hard, the heating is poor, it's way too big for them, the property taxes are well above what a musician and a secretary can afford, etc. This house has been my father's project for the past 25 years or so. I know he dreams of it being beautiful (not that I don't think it's beautiful, but it's beauty is more in its character right now). I don't know how he'll feel if this dream is never realized. My mom would prefer a small, comfortable house. I think she would be happier there. I think my dad would too, maybe. I dunno. I've done so much in this house...

Enough nostalgia for the night. Tomorrow it's back to Austin. I have a programming project to complete for work. I have jobs to look for. I have French to learn. I have... things to do. I hope everyone had things that they could feel thankful for today. I'm thankful for my family and my health and some other stuff that I can't think of right now. Oh, my friends. They're high on the list. And my good hearing. I'll be sad to see that go.

Good night and sweet dreams.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

The Neptunes are good, but not that good. 

Most of mainstream hiphop sucks, in my opinion. (Ooo, "big pimpin" is on, that song rules). I'm in San Antonio, and a little scatterbrained. I've tried my hand at rapping, just a little bit. I wonder if I could flow someday. Maybe if I can't reach flowdom, I could at least be a good producer. I like droppin beats.


Parker Posie is so cute it makes me sad. I watched "Waiting for Guffman" tonight. Not that great. Okay, but not that great. "This is Spinal Tap"... better. All those movies have the same people in them. Reminds me of Thespian Separatist productions.

I think I might get a cell phone soon. And contact lenses. And new socks. And a hot date. And a new laptop battery. And a car. Maybe a gym membership. Or just new running shoes.

I'm really tired of these anti-drug commercials. (Oo Missy Elliot! Hell yeah [watching mtv]). God Missy Elliot is cool. So cool she broke out the parentheses. Anyway, about those anti-drug commercials. They suck and they're just misinformation. The most recent one I saw (tonight, on mtv, of course) was a scene of a little girl, 4 or 5, walking towards a pool with a little floatie. She proceeds to put the floatie in the pool (the contrast is set to make the scene look very bleak) and then presumably she's about to try and get on the floatie and then drowns in the water. They cut the scene to black right before she gets in the pool. During this scene, there is a narrator saying something to the effect of "Don't worry, just tell her parents that you weren't really watching her because you were busy inside, getting stoned." WHAT? That's retarded. I have nothing more to say on that subject. You understand.

This show on mtv is kinda cool. It's like a hiphop dj mix, but with videos too. Continuous flow. Main problem is that a lot of the music sucks, and they show multiple videos by the same artist. I can never tell whose video it is. Is it R. Kelly's video, or is it Jay-z featuring R. Kelly? And, does Sean Paul have any of his own videos, or is he making a career off of just being that Jamaican-sounding guy singing in every damn club song you hear? They did show Big Boi's new video though, so that's tightbangin. I could live without Busta Rhymes, most of the time.

Clearasil acne wipes allow you to fight pimples even when you waitressing at a greasy diner. As long as you're hot.

Now Ludacris is on. I gotta finish this entry and dance in my livingroom. "WHEN I MOVE YOU MOVE! ... I'm lookin for a thick young lady to pull." Well put, 'cris, well put.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003


I just shipped a toaster that has the "longest, deepest, and widest slots for toasting oversized bread and bagels." Pretty sexy, hm? And before that I shipped a veritable shrine to Dan Marino. Quite a collection of memorabilia: hats, a jersey, cards, earrings, a mug, a vest and bowtie, a newspaper, a magazine, even a box of Wheaties from years ago (Wheaties still inside!). I thought, "how lame." Then I realized that we might have picked up all the merchandise from an estate sale and that it could have all belonged to a dead kid. That made me feel weird. Shipping!

Job. All I can think about is job. 

Last week my boss at the "start-up" told me that they're not doing too hot, financially-speaking. So, he's cutting my hours in half. At least I'm not the guy who got fired. This change, of course, means that I have to find... A NEW JOB! I can't support myself on 20 hours a week. Funny, it's like I'm experiencing that whole dot-com boom of the nineties... new office, vaguely-defined job duties, and lay-offs when the company goes down in flames. The main difference is that I haven't been seeing much of that venture capital going into my wallet.

I thought that I was already broken as broken could be. I relatively kicked ass in school, graduated, looked for two months for a job, seriously started compromising my ideals (at least in my head, if not in my actions), and took a job where they don't even pay me half of what I'm worth. And I just took it. I got caught up in the common work day, feeling tired when I got home, and my search for "better work" slowly tapered off. Now I'm back in the game, looking again. I like to think that this experience has been good, and that my next job will pay well. I'm not talking stellar, just well. But, I don't think the next one will be any better (that's brokenmanChadwick speaking). I need another job, now. I can't bide my time waiting for something good to pop up in the paper, I need money.

It might be time to pack up and go. I know I won't do it until the summer, at the earliest, but really, now is probably the time. I'm not pursuing a career in Austin, and the non-career jobs pay dick, it seems. I would have been happy working at JP's!!! But even they didn't want me. Maybe I was a little too greasy at the interview. It's no Spiderhouse, after all.

It's 1am. I have to wake up at 8am. I'm going to be tired tomorrow. I'm in a bad mood when I'm tired. I was tired today. That's why this post is a bitch-fest. I shouldn't stay up so late. I should be more responsible. I'm 23. I'm just asking for another bad day when I stay up this late. Maybe I'll have some good dreams. Maybe I'll be able to sleep on my back so that my back feels good in the morning when I wake up. I was going to shower tonight, but now I think I'll shower tomorrow morning. My skin gets really dry in the winter. I think it's because my showers are too hot, because the air is too cold. I hate dry skin. At least I have gloves. Gloves are good. Except when your hands get sweaty inside of them, and you're not sure which is better (which is worse), to leave them on and sweat or to take them off and have cold hands that aren't so sweaty. I'll try, Lord, I'll try, not to get a latte at Starbucks tomorrow morning. I'll get the Texaco coffee. It's cheaper and it doesn't support Starbucks. But it supports Texaco. And the lady there weirds me out. Starbucks is so warm and cozy, and they play music there. But they're bad. They kill local coffee shops. Maybe I'll go to Little City on Congress instead. But their lattes aren't as good. And I'll have to walk 3 or 4 more blocks if I go there. That will make me late for work. Then I won't get paid as much. Money rules the world. Make no mistake.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Hi all. I moved my blog so that I don't write embarrassing stuff on a webpage that my employers or prospective employers might see. Next task is to try and move my old blog entries over here.

I'll start a magical restaurant and call it "Foodoo". 

I love ending nights with toast, cottage cheese, and garlic salt.

Did a revolution occur in the 60's? Is hiphop the next phase of that revolution? With some questions, only time will tell. The Mr. Lif / Aesop Rock show tonight was tremendous. They went from party to political, debates to dance. This music, as a medium, is the most powerful in recent history. Hippies? Hoppies? Word.


Saturday, November 22, 2003

She was captivating... almost. 

Today I attended a lecture given by Dr. Jean Claude Risset. He is one of the foremost names in the history of computer music. He is French, and he is a pleasant lecturer. His lecture concerned human perception of musical sound. Specifically, he discussed some of the discrepencies between physics-based predictions of acoustic phenomena and human perception. In other words, we filter what we encounter. We color it. Our reality (aurally) is not what would be predicted, objectively. You double the frequency of a tonal cluster and it should be raised by an octave, right? Naw. Sometimes, depending on the harmonic relations among the cluster, it actually seems to lower in tone. Insane.

He was open for questions at the end of the lecture. There was only one question I wanted to ask him, but I refrained: How can I be like you? You majored in physics. You independently studied music composition and piano. You are often-cited and well-know in your (albeit mostly-unknown) great field. What do I do? Where should I go? Stanford? MIT? IRCAM?

I'm growing a mustache, much to the dismay of females everywhere. I am now horrid. A prickly (and stiff) upper lip. Oh, and sideburns. Those are growing too. All of it's so damned BLONDE though... where the hell did that come from? Surely not my 1/16th Native American ancestors. Or maybe it's 1/32nd. One of those powers of two.

I woke up today for work and looked in the mirror. The skin under my eyes was a rich blue. I think. I'm horrible with colors. I have some sort of mental-block colorblindness. I used to draw trees with green trunks and brown leaves. I feel like I'm missing out on a fundamental human enjoyment. For me, color perception is an arduous mental process. "Hm, it's paper, so it's white. But it doesn't look quite white. It's... off-white." "Chad, that paper is green." "Oh yeah, I can see that now, sure." Maybe that's why I like sound so much, and why I like to wear bright colors. At least I can tell what colors they are. Goodnight.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


I cut my hair last night and now I feel like a new man. And I make my bed these days too! Now it's off to work. But first, coffee.

Sunday, November 16, 2003


Tonight I starred as an extra in an upcoming 7-minute UT student film. I played Forrest's side-kick, Chadwick, who doesn't know what look to have on his face when a movie theatre manager bursts onto the scene toting two little girls. My first reaction as an extra in this scene was to look surprised, then giggle. On the second take I didn't giggle, but I smirked. The third take, I just kind of had my mouth hang open a little. After "Stuck in Delaware", my natural reaction in the aforementioned scene would be to open my eyes really wide and say "Awesome!", but this film is supposed to be serious.

In my other scene, I'm supposed to be watching a scary sci-fi movie in an outdoor theatre. In the first take, I stared intently at the movie screen as though it was very captivating. In the next take, I did the same thing, but simultaneously tried to stifle a giggle. In the final take, I looked like I was about to giggle, and then I kind of giggled because Amy (who was doing some lighting effects to simulate a movie being played) said "shit" or something like that when she hit one of the lights with a big plastic thing that she had to wave around. I hope they use the third take.

The filming took place in Wimberley, TX. Filled with the small-town Texas spirit, Matt Carey, Nicole (not my roommate, a different one), and I created a game called "Rock Throw". Matt and I stood facing each other, about 15 feet apart. We would both pick up rocks and throw them at the same time and try to make them collide in the air. This game is really great. We must have played for at least 15 or 20 minutes straight. And you know what? We made the rocks hit each other in the air. And we didn't cheat. None of that, "wait for one person to throw, then the other person tries to hit it in the air." Naw. We threw the rocks at the same time. During the course of the game, we devised two points of strategy:
1. You should both agree on a level at which you're trying to make the rocks collide. We chose chest-level. This choice worked pretty well.
2. When tossing the rocks, toss your rock as if you were trying to toss it into the other person's hand. That way, your rocks should be following the same general path, and should thus collide. The added bonus of this strategy is that most of the time you can catch the rock that the other person threw, so you waste less time picking up new rocks, and achieve your goal more quickly.

I have to say that I felt a little embarrassed when Matt and Nicole gave it a go and made it happen in about 5 minutes. But, I think that's just because Matt and I had already worked out the strategies I was just talking about.

Studying for the Computer Science GRE has reminded me of the dream I used to have of being the first person to come up with a polynomial-time algorithm for solving the set of NP-complete problems. Either that, or proving that it can't be done. Same diff. I heard that you get like a million bucks for figuring that out.

If you or anyone you know speaks French pretty well, come my way. I'm trying to become semi-fluent in French by, say, March. I took it in highschool, so I'm not that far from my goal.

If you're running Windows XP and you're not using ClearType for your font-smoothing, you are really missing out. Right-click on your desktop, click "Properties", go to the "Appearance" tab, click the "Effects" button, and under "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts" choose ClearType. Suddenly you'll think you've got a Mac... all the text looks really nice.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Last night I went to Plush for drum'n'bass night with a friend. She brought Chex Mix in her purse. Some dude working there took it away from us and said he'd keep it behind the bar for us. We forgot to ask for it when we left.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Nicole is watching "Apolcalypse Now" 

I just woke up from a nap that I hadn't planned to take. I took this nap face-down in my bed, sideways, with my right leg hanging off at a weird angle. It lasted about an hour, I think. Now my right knee hurts and I'm a little sweaty. Now, I shall figure out how to spend my night.

I'm hungry. Martin Sheen wants a mission. He's still in Saigon.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Tonight is the second and last performance of the first official episode (after the pilot) of "Stuck in Delaware", in which I play the role of Skyler McKeane, a faux valley surfer dude living in Delaware. It's been fun, off and on, being a part of the production. I'm looking forward to the end though, so I can spend more time doing... other stuff, I don't know what.

I'm wearing a blue jacket to a funeral tomorrow, and I'm worried about it. It's not black. And I'm going to be a pallbearer. I hope I don't offend anyone. I always feel underdressed at important occasions. Or, almost always.

I wonder how long I'll be able to get away with using my old UT id to ride the buses around Austin. Sometimes, at the bus stop, I construct a dialog in my head between me and the bus driver in which he questions whether I am really a current UT student. I spend a few minutes making up a class schedule in my head, and think of what I would tell him I'm currently studying in each of them. Additionally, if he asks me why I'm not getting off the bus near campus (I get off at 6th and Congress) I will tell him that I'm working an internship at a start-up downtown, and my classes are at night. So far, no driver has questioned my studenthood. But, you never know.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

What's going on. 

Here's what's going on with me right now: I'm working about 30-35 hours a week at a start-up downtown called AuctionBin. I'm rehearsing for a play that's happening this Friday and Saturday night (Nov. 7th and 8th) at the Vortex theatre. It's called "Stuck in Delaware". I'm training to run in the Motorola Marathon in February. I actually like running now. I used to hate it. I'm trying to fix my laptop, but I think I'm just breaking it more in the process. I went to a friend's memorial last weekend, and will be attending a friend's brother's funeral this weekend. My dad just had his 54th birthday. I'm planning on getting contact lenses as soon as I have the time to get an eye exam. I'm working on some new music, here and there, mostly songwriting. I'm prepping for the computer science GRE, which I'll be taking December 13th. I'm not applying to grad schools yet. I'm considering joining a conversational French group. I'm starting to drink the occasional latte instead of plain old coffee. I'm cutting down on my sugar intake. I'm increasing my carbohydrate intake (see: Marathon, above). I'm not using Friendster much, except to reply to the occasional message or friend request. My state of mind and way of life are changing.

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